The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

New Faces on the Titan Block

New+Faces+on+the+Titan+Block

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

New teachers have been filing into the building for the new 2021-2022 school year. Nikkia Camm, Emily Cramer, and Daniel Duffy shared their stories working for Alexandria City Public Schools with us. With passion and keenness, the teachers told us their preferences, opinions, and funny stories from teaching here and at other schools in the past.

Camm and Duffy are both English teachers, however, they both have different stories on how they became English teachers, “[I was] doing some freelance writing while getting my MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia. I taught some creative writing workshops, and I really, really liked it.” said Duffy. Camm says that in ninth grade the moment her teacher introduced her class to Shakespeare, is when she realized she wanted to teach. 

Cramer, a German teacher from Somerset, Pennsylvania, says that “I’ve always loved the German language and culture” and thinks that linguistics is a different major she would have if she did not become a teacher. Cramer immediately knew she wanted to be a teacher, “Very early on, like 6 years old on [I knew I wanted to be a teacher]. Not always a German teacher but from a very, very early age.”

 “I went to the University of Pittsburgh for my undergrad and graduate degree,” said Cramer. “Then I also did a summer in Augsburg, Germany, and went to their University.”

Cramer wants “everybody to enjoy German and feel comfortable in class and its atmosphere.” For her, it has been a rough journey with people who could support her getting into German. “Everybody told me that being a German teacher was a terrible idea, that I would never find a job but I just loved German so much that I made it work,” proving the point that you can do anything you set your mind to. 

Daniel Duffy was born and raised in Morrison, Illinois, one of the new English teachers, but “I consider myself to be from Chicago because I lived there for 14 years.” 

While in the process of getting degrees, Duffy, “got my BA in English from Humboldt State University, my MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago, and my MEd in Secondary Education from DePaul University.” 

When he was getting his MFA, Duffy was bartending for money and “taught some creative writing workshops, and I really, really liked it.” Around the same time, his friend “had quit his job as a financial advisor and become a teacher.” With all this education, he told us a lot of wise words, “Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be like other people that you admire. Go ahead, admire people and learn things from them, but then work on finding your own voice and your own identity.” 

Duffy expresses love for cooking by watching, physically making dishes, and sometimes wishing he went to culinary school. He watches the show called “David Chang’s: The Next Thing You Eat”, and says that it is “a really well-made and entertaining show about the future of food.” Some of the things they talk about on the show are “meat consumption and how we need to get away from factory farming.”

 Not only do Camm and Duffy both have English degrees, but they share a liking for cooking too. “I often think about opening [a] business like a restaurant or something community based,” said Camm.

Duffy honors the “creativity, perseverance, and vulnerability” students have. A hard-working drive is what Camm and Cramer both appreciate in students, while Cramer more specifically values “when students pose really difficult questions like I value their critical thinking skills.” 

Duffy conveys the ups and downs in assisting his students, “helping high school students navigate the tumultuous years when they are really trying to find their voices and figure out what their identity is, an exciting, wild time.”

Duffy and Camm interviews by Sophia Jones

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